* Posts by hammarbtyp

1199 posts • joined 28 Nov 2007


We're all at sea: Navigation Royal Navy style – with plenty of IT but no GPS


I do remember having a tour of a O-class sub, and they showed us some of the high tech stuff (for the time), then they pointed to simple bubble gauge on the wall "as use of last resort" to work out whether the sub was pointing up or down


Re: Welcome to the 21sa Century

Actually, commercial vessels have used n Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) for some time. No one in the commercial world has used charts for decades.

True, however commercial vessels are less likely to be under deliberate attack. Of course, that could mean cyber as well as physical. Not only is having some back-up for GPS that cannot be easily spoofed a good idea, but navigation information in a non-volatile, read-only format seems sensible.

I am sure that the computers are firewalled etc, but in my experience 90% of sailing is total boredom. When I sailed with the RFA, many years ago, i was stunned by the amount of pirated software that was in use. Nowadays it will be dodgy videos picked up in the far east

Thatcher-era ICL mainframe fingered for failure to pay out over £1bn in UK pensions


Re: Move along

"Bob's your uncle."

Not according to the Government person tracking database

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81


Re: Fraudulent too...

Wow invented kickstarter too..the man was well ahead of his time

Report details how Airbus pilots saved the day when all three flight computers failed on landing


Re: "Seems the pilots did a good job,"

They didn't need to retrain. They haven't had to retrain. The MAX is back in service without any retraining.

There was a minor problem with one system, which caused two crashes due to inexperienced cockpit crews. There have been no major changes to the plane made as a result.

So basically you are saying that Boeing took the plane out of service for a year and did nothing?, elimination of the system's ability to repeatedly activate, and allowing pilots to override the system if necessary. Boeing also overhauled the computer architecture of the flight controls to provide greater redundancy.

Ans yes the MAX now requires retraining which was the big issue in the 1st place since it was sold as an upgrade to the 737, but no mention was made of the new systems

Why we abandoned open source: LiveCode CEO on retreat despite successful kickstarter


* Modula-2. learned structured programming

* Prolog. learned declarative functional programming

* dBase - learned database programming

* Z notation - Learned a high level formal notation

* occam - learned about parallel programming

All you seem to be missing is something like Smalltalk for OO, and it sounds like you had a pretty rounded computing education where you could take anything that was thrown at you

When the bits hit the fan: What to do when ransomware strikes


Re: To stop it

Well I guess that's one solution, although I can a few issues....

Can we talk about Kevin McCarthy promising revenge if Big Tech aids probe into January insurrection?


Re: Lawmakers or lawbreakers?

How any of them can demand to see the apparently private records of individuals is a pretty shocking state of affairs to me. I would imagine that it’s up to the legal system to start a case and prosecute and not corrupt and biased politicians to do this?

Congress committees have always had the power to subpoena both witnesses and evidence in pursuit of its role.

The idea that somehow private records are somewhat inviolate when investigating a potential crime is a strange one. There are many situations where legal authorities can request information held on private servers. For example if there was an investigation on child abuse, you would not expect that data stored on a private server would remain off limits?

At the end of the day the committee is requesting data in pursuance of understanding a criminal act, and as long as it follows its own procedures, it is legally allowed to do it

I also find it ironic that the same characters who have pushed for companies like apple and google to give backdoors to legal authorities are now crying foul when the same sort of requests are being asked about there own activities.

South Korea says 2022 moonshot on track, will test interplanetary internet and search for water


So DTN is basically IP protocol with another layer on top to manage storage and connectivity between nodes. Each node stores the data its received from the previous one. It then sends a receipt, if the former node does not receive the receipt, it tries to send the data on again.

so for TCP that reduces the resend times that would come from having to resend the data millions of miles away. Not sure what the advantage is for UDP. If you are sending UDP, presumably packet loss is not critical such as real time performance data where the resend times would be larger than the data refresh times.

It still sounds like you would need a lot of nodes in orbit somewhere, and presumably you would want multiple paths to take care when one node is not in line of sight, so you would need to deal with data duplication at some point.

NHS England's release of 'details' on access to Palantir COVID-19 data store: Good enough? We're in a 'dialogue' says national data watchdog


Re: NHS Data skills

Is there an "all of the above" option?

Rumors of satellite-comms-capable iPhone abound. The truth could be rather boring


Re: Inclusive-Or

I am sorry, but that is the wrong type of disaster. Please contact your provider for more details

Think you can solve the UK's electric vehicle charging point puzzle? The Ordnance Survey wants to hear about it


Re: Parking time and charging time mismatch

The other problem is cars hogging the points. We were in the deepest Yorkshire Dales where charging points are few and far between. However there are 2 in the dales center at Aysgarth falls.

Not that anyone could use them, because they had cars parked in them, and the owners had just gone off for a nice long walk.

Basically its a bit like Germans and towels. Arrive early, plug in and bugger off


Re: Park for Night

more importantly how is the Hydrogen infrastructure coming along.

The hydrogen fuel cell cars are available, but without the refuel stations its all moot

Basically there are currently 11 hydrogen stations in the UK. Five of these are located within the M25, with others in the Southeast and Wiltshire. There are also two hydrogen refuelling stations for cars in Scotland, and none in Northern Ireland. (Compared to 91 in Japan and 92 in Germany)

Happy birthday, Linux: From a bedroom project to billions of devices in 30 years


It dominates the supercomputer world, with 100 per cent market share.

Nice to see window supercomputer world domination attempts going so nicely

Windows HPC Server

Oh the humanity: McDonald's out of milkshakes across Great Britain


After reading about the machines and their rather long cleaning cycles, i'm pretty sure I did not want one anyway


'Not great, but usable': GNOME desktop boots on Asahi Linux for Apple M1


Re: Great work so far

"I'll bet Apple doesn't mind this at all."

Hmm, the company that is famous for putting up a walled gardens, is not too worried about someone hacking their system???

Apple has always tried to control everything. They pretend its for customer benefit, but it also allows them to drive huge profits from software and services.

Having trouble getting your mitts on that Raspberry Pi? You aren't alone


Its the standard technology curve. Early adopters require bespoke hardware to fulfill their needs, but eventually OTS hardware becomes powerful enough to be used at a lower cost. However there tends to be an inertia before this kicks in.

On top of that there a lot of bepoke jobs that people would like to do but hardware costs are prohibitive. A pi is a good alternative since its cheap and widely supported even if it is only a proof of concept


That's not the point

And people use it once or twice, find out it is much slower than their PC and it lands in the drawer never to be found again.

It was never sold as a desktop replacement, although it can be used as such.

In many ways, its price making it a throwaway object is the point. One of the obstacles in getting people programming is the fear of breaking something. Do I want to directly access my $1000 PC innards in a way that may break it. No. Would I do it on a $10 pi zero, yeah why not.

Also it allows you to connect software to the outside world which removes the abstraction between computers and everyday life. Can you do that easily on a standard PC? No

Does everyone become a great programmer after buying a Pi. No. Does it encourage people to try and a % go on into careers in SW. Yes, and that was the entire point

Buyout of British defence supplier Ultra Electronics paused by UK.gov over competition concerns


Re: Too Late . . . Tony Blair Gave Away All Our Technology Via The Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty

The Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty only removes trade barriers when selling defence equipment between the US and UK. It does not say the technology has to be given to the US just that it does not require an export licence. All ownership and IP remains with the company and country of origin.

It could be argued however that this makes UK firms more attractive to US buyers, since products can be sold directly into the US market without government export restrictions

Pi calculated to '62.8 trillion digits' with a pair of 32-core AMD Epyc chips, 1TB RAM, 510TB disk space


Re: Two questions

I hadn't the heart to tell them that the 32th trillion number is a 8 not a 9

NFT or not to NFT: Steve Jobs' first job application auction shows physically unique beats cryptographically unique


Someone just managed to make 23K by scanning a document....definitely beats working for a living

Somebody is destined for somewhere hot, and definitely not Coventry


Hot Stuff

We had similar issues - biggest problem was that we wrote industrial control systems for large foundries, but our emails addressing the issues on hot strip mills kept getting silently blocked.

Dog eats UK government's Hydrogen Strategy homework just as summer recess arrives


Re: Yet again, what about tidal power?

The problems with tidal are a) there are only a few suitable sites. yes, i know that tides happen everywhere, but you need a good fall to get useful energy, such as the River Severn. Even then the generation is not constant. Secondly it needs a large barrier which has effects on local ecology, marine navigation, coast erosion. The idea of putting turbines in the tidal flow, obviously removes some of those objections, but you need to add the engineering issues, cost of maintenance etc. Again there are only a few suitable sites.

Pump storage again is limited to a few locations.

You could also add wave power to the list, which has been looked at for many years, and never really gone with.

There are many possible solutions, but there are a lot more factors than just getting the power out

Sir Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web NFT fetches $5.4m at auction while rest of us gaze upon source code for $0


The emperors new virtual clothes

This has become a big thing for photographers after a few made the kind of money in a single auction those selling in the traditional means could only dream off. since then it has turned into a almost cultish way with the high priests (aka the auction site owners) preaching to the converted and denigrating any heretics who have the temerity to suggest that the emperor clothes' are anything other than finest silk.

To me it feels like a hype bubble, with a few early subscribers driving the market, while the majority of people are going 'Meh'. There are also other concerns such as the legal status of the image, copyright ownership and the fact a huge amount of energy is being consumed to basically generate no real value, only virtual ones.

Of course I could be wrong and in 20 years time we will all be lovingly downloading our owned digital prints to display to our expectant descendants rather than the actual limited edition physical object. However something tells me that an original physical manifestation of say a painting will have better long term value than say the digital print of that object even if it is the only one signed by the objects creator

Revealed: Why Windows Task Manager took a cuddlier approach to (process) death and destruction


Why so long?

One of the things I have always wondered about windows is when you hit the shutdown button, what is it doing that takes so long? Sometimes it can be minutes until the shutdown occurs, meaning you have time to make a hot beverage of choice and still come back to see the spinning circle of death.

Ok, you need to flush buffers, etc, but it feels like the computer is spending its pending downtime transcribing war and peace using a hammer and chisel

Rather than End Tasks, i would of preferred the "Nuke em" option...

preferable from orbit,

just to be sure

Chromebook boom won’t outlive COVID-19 pandemic, says IDC


No they are used a lot in schools to. Basically if you are handing out a PC to kids, you want it to be as safe and as simple to use as possible.


For a long time I was ambivalent on Chromebooks. I mean a low power PC clone, which relied on being online most of the time, whats teh point of that.

Then my daughter wanted a laptop she could take to school. It was either a laptop of a chromebook, so I thought what the hell, go for a chromebook.

I'm glad I did. The form factor is perfect for travelling to school, and having no spinning rust means they are robust. The OS starts instantly, and I don't have to worry about AV protection and constant updates. As laptops are generally used by the majority of people to browse the web and write a few documents,run zoom etc ,there is little loss of functionality

My daughters normal laptop has virtually never been turned on once she got the chromebook. Personally I cannot see the point in spending 100's more on a fully featured laptop unless you have a niche requirement so rather than the world moving back when the crisis are over, I think a lot of people have found they do not need to spend the extra money for power and functionality they never use

John McAfee dead: Antivirus tycoon killed himself in prison after court OK'd extradition, says lawyer



He went out the way he always wanted...not with a whimper, but with a conspiracy theory

Anyone still using cash? British £50 banknote honouring Alan Turing arrives


I guess its ironic that he is being honoured on a note just as they are being made obsolete by technology he pioneered

Do you want speed or security as expected? Spectre CPU defenses can cripple performance on Linux in tests


Interesting article

The problem with most security articles is that they offer a black and white assessment of security. i.e there is a vulnerability and therefore you are exposed. Generally however there are a lot of greys. for example if an exploit requires local access only, then there are far fewer possibilities of exploits and other mitigations can be put in place.

So for a bare metal embedded system running on the x86 platform (yes, there are such things), there maybe little benefit with the security features as long as code is signed and booted via a TPM etc. Also if you are trying to wring out every last clock cycle, you may have to turn off any CPU draining features. (although generally jitter is more important than raw speed)

So in all cases potential exploits should not be taken at face value, and risk assessments should be done to define the mitigation strategy.

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)


"If you are comfortable with not keeping your machine up-to-date, pause updates, and then open RegEdit."

unfortunately on work machines, IT decide when you update. Yes they sometimes give you 4 hours grace, but thats not much help when you are in the middle of a long term test, or you take a day off and find you cannot remote access your PC bce it has been rebooted and waiting for someone to physically login to complete the update.


"Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem."

But for some reason every few weeks I have to break my workflow while an enforced reboot is put on me.

Windows 10 is better than its antecedents, but we are left with the historical poor design decisions going back to windows 3.1, while more modern OS's such as ChromeOS are far less painful, its just that we have become so used to it, people thinks its normal to have to restart your whole hardware to fix bugs

UK gets glowing salute from Bezos-backed General Fusion: Nuclear energy company to build plant in Oxfordshire


Re: already got one

True, but there are large transmission losses and no one has managed to get it working for more than 12 hours in a day

Wanted: Brexit grand fromage. £120k a year. Perks? Hmmmm…


Isn't that a bit life jumping of a cliff, then trying to work out how to get a soft landing?

Mensa data spillage was due to 'unauthorised internal download'


The new Mensa test

Complete this sequence


NATO summit communiqué compares repeat cyberattacks to armed attacks – and stops short of saying 'one-in, all-in' rule will always apply


Its a bit like dropping a few bombs on another country, and then complaining when they retaliate in kind.

You can argue till the cows come home about whether Stuxnet was justified, but you cannot pretend that somehow the west is not an aggressor in this cyber war and in many ways indicated to China, Russia et al that cyber war could not be considered the same as normal warfare in terms of retaliation, so its a bit rich to be trying to change the rules now



Inventor of the graphite anode – key Li-ion battery tech – says he can now charge an electric car in 10 minutes


Re: Ain't nobody here but us battery chickens

You mean dump them when they get too old?


Re: A power station at each garage ?

i guess it depends on the efficiency of the present solution and whether the updated method reduces losses.

If the present method is slower, but less efficient, it could take more power, but obviously at a slower rate.

You could have a scenario however where at home, you use the slower system, because generally you can plug it in all night, while at a external charging station they use the faster method. The only problem with this is that you lose the advantage of longer term battery life

Want to keep working in shorts and flipflops way after this is all over? It could be time to rethink your career moves


We having been trying to hire a embedded software engineer for months and it appears to be a sellers market. The agency we employed to look basically told us that unless we offer flexible home working, we wouldn't even manage to get them to interview stage with 7 jobs per candidate.

My problem is how far do we go. I am still a believer that there is value in face to face working, but understand the attractions of WFH and it increases the pool of candidates. But i am not sure whether I am at the point where i would be happy employing someone who lived so far away that no travel into the office would be acceptable


Re: Interview cheats?

To be honest the ability to locate the correct stackoverflow page is pretty well a requirement nowdays. If the interview is asking questions about facts rather than problem solving, then maybe your interview questions need updating

FBI paid renegade developer $180k for backdoored AN0M chat app that brought down drug underworld


And the good people are often stunned that evil people can also be stupid.

The evil mastermind controlling the puppet strings from afar is a common thread in movies, but I'm pretty sure the reality is that most master criminals are more brawn than brain. Good at manipulation of people, but not great strategic minds

The common factor in all your failed job applications: Your CV


The Chinese solution...

Maybe the problem is the CV process...

C Northcote Parkinson recognized the problem years ago, and he suggested two solutions

The British solution is basically hire based on a strict hierarchy of which lord you were related too, or failing that which public school you attended. Obviously this would not work in our democratic world (although it is widely used in the civil service and banking). I am also not sure what the software equivalent would be. Maybe you have to describe which software guru you have studied under and those with the highest degree to Bacon be chosen

Alternatively is the Chinese system whose whole tenet is that anyone who actually applies should be rejected because anyone risking losing face so de facto rule them out. Instead the recruitment committee should go out and offer the job to to a known associate


Re: CV's top tips


I agree the biggest issue is that you have to meet multiple audiences, all who have different expectations. I can only go on what I look for in a CV, and that may well be different from those who do the initial filtering.

It is a bit like good design. A good CV is difficult to describe, but you know it when you see it. It is also possible that I miss some good candidates due to the HR front end not knowing what we are looking for.

and to be honest, as a developer, I am not so interested in what languages you know, rather your ability to fit in with the team, be a good problem solver, and can grow with the role. Unfortunately these soft skills are very hard to quantify on 2 pages of A4, and are unlikely to be picked up by HR anyway.

The only solution I can think of is that we cut the initial layers out altogether and let the people at the coal face do the filtering.


CV's top tips

Recently I've turned gamekeeper from poacher and I have had to review a number of CV's for an embedded software position. Generally most are pretty awful and it takes a long time to filter the information, so these are my top tips

1. Keep it simple - I know the issues of trying to get past the guard droids, but adding every acronym under the sun in the hope something sticks will not impress, and just makes my job harder. I want to know what work you did, not that you know VB6,RS232,TCPv4,X.25 etc. Add those to an appendix at the bottom. Do not use fancy fonts, weird colour backgrounds or large images of yourself (actually any image at all, I really don't care what you look like)

2. Keep it sparse - Again cramming information in small font just to sound impressive will not help me work out whether you are the right person for the job. I am trying to justify whether to take you to the next stage, if you add too much the information gets lost in the noise

3.Keep it relevant - I do not need to know that you worked for Tesco at the age of 16 unless it was to develop their POS system

4.Keep it professional - I am looking for a potential employee, not a best friend. Personal jokes and anecdotes don't really sit well

5.keep it brief - 20 page essays may look to you impressive, but to me it is just hard work

6.Be prepared to stand by what you put on the CV - we all exaggerate on our CV's a bit. However outright lies are remarkable easy to spot and in the interview process you will get interrogated about them.

7. Target the job - this is my biggest recommendation. Do not write one CV and use it for all jobs. Look at what the job is asking for and write your CV to address that. A covering letter indicating why you are interested in the job, and why you feel you are appropriate is also good, because it shows you have researched the company and role and are likely to hang around more than 3 months if offered the job

Royal Yacht Britannia's successor to cost about 1 North of England NHS IT consultancy framework


£200m is a drop in the ocean (pun intended) in terms of the UK budget and the recent year or twos worth of borrowing

In terms of government expenditure it does not sound a lot, but considering the total budget for export trade mission is about £438 million, it is a lot in this context

But of course we know it will not cost £200m. Firstly this will be a government contract, so there will be lots of oversight, departmental in-fighting so £50 mill will be spent just on standard government bureaucracy. Then there will be the feature creep. It will need a bigger helipad, ocean refueling, encrypted comms, protection measures, rtc. To be honest 200m will be just the design phase, triple that to get the boat built and off the ramp if you are lucky

Then will be the long term cost of running, manning it and maintaining it. We have the cost of moving this floating gin palace around the world, and hope it it is not needed in Mexico 2 weeks after docking in Chennai.

Also there is the issues of security. Embassies etc are relatively easy to protect, but a moving, floating representation of the UK government heading just outside Iranian territorial waters? It may need its own frigate escort just to get to some places

But as you say it would be worth it if it gets us a better trade deal. But how do you prove that? Our major export competitors seem to manage without Boris' knob extension, so maybe it would be better looking at how our competitors succeed rather than harking back to some imperialistic past which no longer exists.


Its amazing how Germany, Netherlands etc have managed to export more without a their own yacht.

However I am sure they will regret their oversight when our yacht sails serenely into Seoul, Beijing, New Delhi, and the natives will be so blown away by this magnificent technology that they will instantly put in orders for Piccalilly, Potato crisps or whatever else the UK still makes

(or alternatively, the money could be just spent reinforcing the trade missions in the targeted countries, funding R&D at home, improving UK infrastructure, etc )

Need some chips? The Raspberry Pi Pico's RP2040 is heading to a channel near you


Re: No competition

One advantage are the pio's that allow you to drive hardware interfaced at almost dedicated hardware speed, but defined purely in software

Internet Explorer downgraded to 'Walking Dead' status as Microsoft sets date for demise


Lets nuke it from space, its the only way to make sure

IE has probably caused me more work over the years to maintain browser compatibility. The only reason it will be missed is that there are still some sites that only seem to work properly in IE, so it was an unwelcome, but important tool. It was basically the dog pooh bag of the world. You didn't want to have it, using it was messy, but it was a bit better than the alternative

The Starship has landed. Latest SpaceX test comes back to Earth without igniting fireballs


"I aim at the stars, but sometimes I hit London"

- Wernher von Braun



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